THE KAREN - ELEFANTEN KEEPERS OF NORTH THAILAND
LIVING IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THAILAND
If you want to establish an elephant project in Northern Thailand, a connection to the people of the Karen is necessary. A centuries-old tradition connects people with the animals – yes, they are often referred to as family members.
Karen ethnically describes several groups. The language has nothing to do with the language of the Thais and has its origins in the Himalayan mountains. In the area of our elephant camp, the Karen settled around 100 years ago. We visit the village of Mae Sapok together with you to give you an impression of the way of life of our colleagues and friends. The Karen are very social people, often a whole family lives in a room. As traditional rice farmers, they have settled in Thailand at heights of up to 1200 meters. In the past the people‘s houses were almost exclusively made of bamboo, wood and stone buildings have also become established in recent years.
Nowadays, tourism plays a big role – we make sure that you do not have the feeling to see an idea here. The village we visit is not a show village; People live in their homes and are happy when their way of life is presented.
A woman of the Karen people: Her red skirt shows that she either is or was married.
The Karen have a long tradition of elephant keeping. The grey giants are regarded as family members.
Their style of living is still very traditional. Here water is being cooked on open fire in a house.
As rice farmers people are very busy during planting and farming season.
This woman does not know how old she is. But she knows a lot of other things.
The new generation is happy as well. The Karen are very fond of children.